Retiring in Texas
This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Texas.
Texas, located in the southern United States, is an increasingly popular retirement destination for Americans seeking a warm climate, low cost of living, and a variety of outdoor activities. With its beautiful coastline, diverse cities, and hospitable culture, Texas offers retirees a unique and affordable retirement experience that is attracting many retirees every year.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Texas had a population of approximately 29.5 million people, with over 12% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a large retirement population.
What age can you retire in Texas?
Like many states, the Virgin Islands have no specific retirement age that is mandated by law. This means that individuals are free to retire whenever they choose, as long as they are able to financially support themselves. However, there are some age-related benefits and considerations for retirees in the Virgin Islands:
Social Security benefits: The earliest age at which you can begin receiving Social Security benefits is 62, but if you delay taking benefits, your monthly payments will increase. Full retirement age (FRA) is between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year. Delaying benefits until after FRA can result in even higher monthly payments.
Medicare eligibility: Medicare eligibility begins at age 65, regardless of retirement status. However, if you choose to retire before age 65, you will need to find alternative healthcare coverage until you become eligible for Medicare.
Age discrimination: It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on age.
Retirement savings: Regardless of retirement age, it is important for individuals to start saving for retirement as early as possible. Many financial experts recommend saving at least 15% of your income for retirement.
However, like any location, there are both pros and cons to retiring in the state.
Why do people retire to Texas?
Warm climate: Texas has a warm climate, particularly in the southern and coastal areas, with mild winters and hot summers. This makes it an attractive destination for retirees who want to enjoy outdoor activities year-round.
Low cost of living: Texas has a relatively low cost of living compared to many other states, with lower housing, healthcare, and grocery costs.
Outdoor activities: Texas is home to many state and national parks, forests, and beaches, providing retirees with ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and golfing.
Hospitable culture: Texas is known for its friendly and welcoming culture, with a strong emphasis on family and community. Retirees can enjoy living in a hospitable environment that offers plenty of opportunities to meet new people and make friends.
What puts people off retiring to Texas?
Natural disasters: Texas is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, and tornadoes, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas.
Healthcare quality: While Texas has a lower cost of healthcare, it may not have the same quality of care as other states.
Transportation: Texas is a large state with limited public transportation, making it more difficult for retirees who do not drive to get around.
Best places to retire in Texas
If Texas is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
Austin: Known for its vibrant music scene, eclectic food options, and outdoor recreation opportunities, Austin is a great place for retirees who want to stay active and engaged. With a population of just over 1 million, it's also a relatively small city, which can make it easier to navigate for older adults.
San Antonio: Home to the famous River Walk and the Alamo, San Antonio is a popular tourist destination that also makes a great place to retire. The city is known for its rich history, cultural events, and mild winters.
Houston: The largest city in Texas, Houston offers a diverse range of activities, from world-class museums and galleries to professional sports teams and outdoor parks. The city is also home to several top-rated hospitals, making it a good option for retirees who want access to quality healthcare.
Dallas-Fort Worth: The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is a thriving hub for business, entertainment, and culture. With plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, it's a great place for retirees who want to stay busy and engaged.
Corpus Christi: Situated on the Gulf Coast, Corpus Christi is a popular destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The city also has a vibrant downtown area with plenty of restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions.
Fredericksburg: Located in the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is a charming small town with a rich German heritage. The town is known for its wineries, antique shops, and art galleries, and it offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking, biking, and fishing.
South Padre Island: If you're looking for a laid-back retirement by the beach, South Padre Island might be just the place for you. The island is home to pristine beaches, warm Gulf waters, and a variety of outdoor activities, such as fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching.
In conclusion, Texas offers a range of urban and rural retirement options, a warm climate and a comparatively low cost of living but potential retirees should also prepare for a lack of transport infrastructure and variable healthcare quality. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Texas, including property taxes, insurance, and living expenses, in order to make an informed decision about whether the state is the right choice for your retirement.
Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.